Make Magical Memories with Missouri Holiday Traditions

Whether your holidays are low-key or filled to the brim with activity, sharing a favorite spot or special event with family and friends is one sure way to savor the season. From dazzling light displays to ice skating under the stars, Missouri offers a multitude of ways to create magical, memorable holiday traditions.

Festive Sights

For many families, the Christmas season is not complete without holiday lights. A flip of a switch on Thanksgiving evening reveals thousands of jewel-toned lights outlining every dome, tower and window in Kansas City's Country Club Plaza. The lighting ceremony has been a treasured tradition for more than nine decades. The lights will illuminate the 15-block shopping district Nov. 26 through mid-January, creating a sparkling sight you’ll want to see year after year.
Immerse yourself in more than 6.5 million lights and 1,000 decorated trees during An Old Time Christmas Nov. 7 – Dec. 30 at Silver Dollar City in Branson. The celebration – one of the nation’s top Christmas events – features Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade, holiday music, specialty shops, home-style meals and sweet treats.
The award-winning Saint Louis Zoo will shine bright during Wild Lights on select days from Nov. 27 – Dec. 30. Stroll through the grounds decorated with a million lights and whimsical animal-themed displays. You’ll find costumed characters and carolers spreading holiday cheer throughout zoo.

Christmas Traditions, Nov. 27 – Dec. 24 in St. Charles, features yuletide traditions of yesteryear with 80 legendary holiday characters, outdoor concerts, shopping and dining throughout the historic downtown area. Each day of the festival ends with a candlelight procession and the Cobblestone Wassailiers leading a sing-a-long of Christmas songs beneath the glow of Saint Charles' Christmas tree.
Garden Lights

Immersive light displays will transport you to a winter wonderland during the Festival of Lights Nov. 13 – Jan. 3 at Powell Gardens in Kingsville, about 40 miles southeast of Kansas City. More than 20 miles of lights will complement the garden’s expansive landscape and architectural features. A greenhouse will be transformed into a holiday-themed tiki bar complete with tropical plants and music.
The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis will sparkle with more than a million lights during Garden Glow Nov. 11 – Jan. 2. Don’t miss the Gardenland Express holiday flower and train show, and enjoy food, drinks and live music. Special events include traditional Chanukah and Kwanza celebrations.
Ice Skating with a View

Experience an ice skating rink like no other – bathed in the glow of the Gateway Arch. Enjoy the outdoor rink and special events (and hot chocolate!) at the Winterfest Ice Rink at Kiener Plaza open mid-November through Jan. 1.

Steinberg Skating Rink, the largest outdoor ice skating rink in the Midwest, offers public skating every day – including holidays in St. Louis’ Forest Park. The rink will be open from Nov. 13 through Feb. 28.

Glide beneath a billowy white canopy at the Crown Center Ice Terrace in Kansas City. The outdoor rink provides a view of the Mayor's Christmas Tree – one of the tallest in the U.S. Public skating sessions are held daily, except for Christmas Day, from mid-November through March. 

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